KARACHI: An antiterrorism court on Monday sentenced two police constables to death and handed life term to three police inspectors on charges of killing a teenager in a “planned” encounter in Defence Housing Authority in 2018.
The policemen, Bilal Rasheed and Mohammad Daniyal, were posted as guard and driver of the then SSP Muqaddas Haider, who is now a DIG, of the Anti-Car Lifting Cell.
The accused were found guilty of shooting to death Intizar Ahmed on Jan 13, 2018.
The court awarded life imprisonment on four counts to inspectors Tariq Mehmood, Tariq Raheem and Azhar Ahsan, Head Constable Shahid Usman and constables Ghulam Abbas and Fawad Khan.
Six other policemen get life term for abetting the killing of teenage student in ‘planned’ encounter
The judge of the ATC-VII, who conducted the trial in the judicial complex inside the central prison, pronounced the verdict reserved in July after recording evidence and final arguments from both sides.
The high-profile murder trial took over three years to conclude.
All the accused were produced from prison, except former head constable Ghulam Hussain, who appeared in court on bail.
The judge noted that the prosecution had proved the charge against constables Rasheed and Daniyal beyond a shadow of a doubt. The court sentenced them to death on two counts — for committing premeditated murder and terrorism.
The court also handed down 10-year imprisonment for using their official weapon in the planned encounter.
Both convicts were also ordered to pay a collective fine of Rs250,000 each or undergo an additional three-month imprisonment.
Accused Mehmood, Raheem, Ahsan, Usman, Abbas and Fawad Khan were ordered to pay a collective fine of Rs300,000 each or undergo an additional one-year imprisonment in case of default.
The judge while giving them the benefit of Section 382-B (period of detention to be considered while awarding sentence of imprisonment) of the criminal procedure code remanded them back to prison to serve their remainder of their sentence.
The court, however, acquitted head constable Ghulam Abbas as the prosecution failed to prove the charge against him.
According to the prosecution, 19-year-old Intizar, who was then studying in Malaysia, had returned to Pakistan for his holidays. On Jan 13, 2018, he was travelling with a female friend, Madiha Kayani, when policemen in plain clothes chased his car and shot him dead in DHA, as he allegedly failed to stop the vehicle. However, Ms Kayani, who was the sole eyewitness of the incident, had managed to escape in a rickshaw unscathed, it added.
The court had indicted all the policemen on May 15, 2018 for murdering the student.
The complainant’s counsel, Salahuddin Panhwar, argued that during the trial the prosecution examined around 20 witnesses, besides producing medical, forensic other material evidence that corroborated the allegations against the policemen.
He had argued that a ballistics expert had confirmed that the official weapons of the ACLC personnel were used in the offence. He had pleaded to the court to punish them strictly in accordance with the law.
However, in their statements recorded under Section 342 of the CrPC, all the accused persons had denied the allegations and claimed their innocence.
The defence counsel had submitted that the allegations against their clients were fabricated and had pleaded to the court to acquit them being innocent.
Initially, Intizar’s killing was termed an act of targeted killing by the police but after a few days, it transpired that ACLC officials were involved in it.
Initially, the investigating officer of the case had charge-sheeted nine officials as accused persons.
A case was registered under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 324 (attempted murder) 109 (abetment) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 (punishment for acts of terrorism) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 at the Darakhshan police station on the complaint of the victim’s father Ishtiaq Ahmed.
“I am satisfied that both the policemen who had shot and killed my son have been punished,” the victim’s father told Dawn after hearing the verdict. “But, the justice will be fully served when sentences awarded to the accused will be executed,” he added.
Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2021